Senior Associate (International Environmental Regulatory Law Specialist)

Pew Charitable Trusts
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
3-4 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, DC, our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.


Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven initiatives to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution’s reputation.


The Environmental Portfolio at The Pew Charitable Trusts

For more than 25 years, Pew has been a major force in engaging the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences, and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our environment work spans all seven continents with more than 250 professionals working at the local, national, and international levels to reduce the scope and severity of global environmental problems, such as the erosion of large natural ecosystems that contain a great part of the world’s remaining biodiversity, and the destruction of the marine environment.


Pew has worked in the United States and Canada since 1990 to protect vast stretches of wilderness and more recently expanded our land conservation efforts to Australia’s Outback and Chilean Patagonia. Safeguarding these places offers an opportunity to conserve wildlife habitat, shorelines and landscapes for current and future generations. Our work relies on the sciences of conservation, biology, and economics to advocate for practical and durable solutions to the loss of biodiversity. 


In the sea, reforms to how our oceans are managed are essential to address overfishing, pollution, and loss of habitat. Pew began its oceans program in the United States, focusing on ending overfishing and protecting fragile marine habitat. Starting in 2005, Pew’s ocean conservation program expanded around the world and played a significant role in reforming marine fisheries management in the European Union and on the high seas and creating marine reserves around the world. Our work is grounded in the best available science and pursues domestic and international conservation measures that are long-term and provide permanent, durable protections for marine ecosystems.


Seabed Mining Project 

The waters far below the ocean’s surface, once regarded as vast, dark, and void, are now known to be rich in biodiversity and brimming with life. So too are the deep seabeds that lie below them. Recent advances in marine science technologies have revealed rich seafloor ecosystems around the planet. A significant fraction of those ocean bottom regions contain rich deposits of commercially valuable minerals. Most of those deposits are found on the international ocean bottom that lies beyond national jurisdiction, at depths ranging from 500 to 6000 meters below the surface. The richest deposits are in three distinct seabed areas: abyssal plains; hydrothermal vent zones; and underwater mountain chains. Advances in deep-sea technical capabilities and rising demand for minerals found in rich concentrations on the seabed have now combined to move deep-sea mining from science fiction to imminent possibility.


The responsibility to write the rulebook that will govern all seabed mining beyond national jurisdiction is invested in the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the 167-member state body established by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In 2017 the ISA began work on a Mining Code that will establish the standards for environmental protection, the procedures by which those protections will be enforced, and the financial regime that will govern commercial exploitation if and when it occurs. 


The objective of the Pew Seabed Mining Project is to influence the development by the ISA of an international mining code that provides for the potential closure of large, ecologically important areas of the deep sea to mineral extraction and imposes precautionary standards to minimize environmental damage if seabed mining does occur; and to work with scientists and other experts to secure the protection of biodiversity and habitat in the two regions where mining would likely first begin.


Position Overview

The senior associate, seabed mining project plays a critical, supporting role in the development and implementation of effective campaign strategies to achieve project objectives in the drafting of the ISA’s international mining code. This role reviews and communicates scientific and regulatory information, including the development of both materials and relationships. The senior associate reports to the associate manager, seabed mining project, and is located in Pew’s Washington, D.C. office. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.


  • Assist the associate manager and other campaign staff in developing and implementing effective campaign strategies that will result in the ISA adopting precautionary rules that ensure mining does not occur unless and until the effective protection of the marine environment can be secured.
  • Assist in reviewing, synthesizing, and communicating around technical developments, including scientific information about the deep ocean and/or regulatory information about the ongoing development of the Mining Code and proposed draft language.
  • Develop and coordinate the production of scientific and policy documents and outreach materials for the project to inform the development of the Mining Code text.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with scientists, experts, and national and international institutions, as well as relevant nongovernmental organizations, contractors, businesses and other partners of the project.
  • Represent Pew and the project at meetings, multilateral forums, conferences and other events, as needed.
  • Assist in the development and management of grants, contracts and contractors to advance the goals of the project.
  • Research, write, and edit campaign materials such as reports, policy briefs, fact sheets, presentations, comment letters, and web content.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required.
  • At least four years of applicable experience.
  • Prior to commencing employment with Pew, candidates for this position who were registered to lobby in any jurisdiction must certify termination of previous registration(s) and provide copies of termination notices with said jurisdiction(s) to Pew.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills. Ability to synthesize materials and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue and the means to address it. Confident in presenting one’s own ideas and diplomatically persuading others as appropriate. Ability to communicate complex ideas for a general audience, with strong public speaking skills and an ability to persuasively engage individuals or groups in dialogue that results in a desire to take action.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including seasoned judgment, analytical capacity, and the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with staff, consultants, partners, grantees and others who contribute to the effectiveness of the project. Excellent listening skills.
  • Demonstrates a strong collaborative spirit. Ability to work productively with a wide array of different people and institutions that frequently disagree with and may be in competition with one another.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. Must be flexible, creative and consistent, and assume high accountability for all areas of responsibility. A strong commitment to producing measurable results.


International travel for this position is anticipated.  


Total Rewards 

We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.


The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.